Small business development forms a cornerstone of communities by creating an ecosystem, creating local jobs, and lifting the community.
It’s About Creating an Ecosystem
Small businesses are an essential part of turning a community into an immersive dynamic ecosystem. A business ecosystem is like a biological community in the way that each business influences the quality of neighboring storefronts. This includes the appearance of the businesses, the quality and quantity of customers, and the longevity of employee relationships. In a cooperative business community, you may thrive simply because you are located near other prospering businesses that directly and indirectly contribute to your success. Albeit not identical, community environments of productivity and prosperity can be contagious for neighboring enterprises, as business owners agree that “we are all here to succeed.” Similarly, residential neighbors have little tolerance for any nearby boarded-up businesses that could decrease area property values. In an effort to lift their communities, business professionals will often invest in preservation projects by restoring historical buildings in their town or city. As a business community and ecosystem, conservation efforts work to lift the entire community and surrounding real estate.
Many people appreciate when they can get a job that is a short walk or drive from home. Employment at local small businesses inspires you to observe and participate in community development meetings that explore new and old policies. Community activists and others also observe and discuss when local businesses are owned by “outsiders”. This may refer to storefronts owned by “corporate America” or by business owners who stereotypically overcharge for substandard products and take profits out of the community at the end of each business day because the owners live and spend elsewhere. More communities have demanded that neighborhood stores are owned by neighborhood residents when feasible, or the stores hire people from the community to work there.
Lifting the Community
Many businesses enjoy the long-term value of being a good neighbor. They hire from the community, which gives the community a sense of ownership and also reduces cases of vandalism, theft, etc. Small businesses support neighborhood academic and athletic achievements by providing items such as scholarships or uniforms for the Little League team. This may even further profitability as it inspires parents and others to spend more money with you instead of habitually driving past your store on the way to a better-marketed discount competitor in another neighborhood.
Small businesses have a lot to offer. Get more involved in the community, and you’ll find that your neighbors won’t mind spending a little more with you and less with bigger retailers where they’re just another customer.
Selling together online, in partnership with your local Chamber of Commerce and other business owners, creates even more exposure for your business vs. having to drive traffic to your individual website. Join our virtual community today!
Featured image source: McWhinney